Rotherham Cancer Care: helping people cope with cancer

Being diagnosed with cancer is an overwhelming and life-changing moment that can cause many different emotions about what the future holds.

It’s natural to feel stressed, shocked or anxious, but support is out there to help cancer patients deal with their worries and improve their quality of life.

For the last 18 years, Rotherham Cancer Care has been providing complementary therapies to people affected by cancer.

The free service was launched in 2004 by Dr Susan Wrigley, the first doctor to work at Rotherham Hospice, who saw a holistic need to treat the whole person rather than just focusing on their medical needs. Dr Wrigley was supported by a team of volunteers to offer therapies and counselling sessions to cancer patients and their main carers in the Rotherham area.

The service began with one evening a week at the Park Rehabilitation Centre where the team would take along all their own furniture to establish a calming atmosphere for their guests to feel safe and welcome. Due to demand for the service, a second night was launched at Ferham House in Kimberworth before deciding to find their own premises to open their doors to more people during the daytime.

Rotherham Cancer Care centre has been based at Clifton since 2008 and is a welcoming, positive environment where people can relax, address any concerns they may have, and feel empowered to look to the future with confidence and strength.

Rotherham Cancer Care Centre in Clifton

They became an independent registered charity ten year ago, continuing the holistic person-centred approach to provide expert guidance and comprehensive support in both a psychological and emotional capacity.

The centre was forced to close during the pandemic, but they reopened in May 2021 with a new manager and some new staff members. Since reopening, their monthly patient numbers have doubled, owing to the fact that Covid has drastically impacted cancer services. People have experienced delays to diagnosis or treatment, were not allowed face-to-face consultations, and had an overall lack of support along their cancer journey.

People living with cancer face many physical, psychological, social, and financial issues and Rotherham Cancer Care can help address these concerns and make life easier.

Anyone who is referred to or contacts Rotherham Cancer Care receives a consultation of up to 90-minutes with one of their four assessors who all have a nursing background. This appointment enables people to talk freely and confidentially about their diagnosis, treatment plan, care needs and concerns without fear of their true feelings upsetting family or friends.

Every person living with cancer is different and the assessors take the time to understand their physical and emotional health before suggesting the therapies that may help alleviate any feelings about diagnosis, treatment or remission.

Their range of complementary therapies won’t cure cancer, but they may provide some relief from side effects of cancer or treatment such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea, pain, difficulty sleeping, and stress.

All therapies are aimed at relaxation and are carried out by a team of seven experienced therapists. A skilled and caring therapist takes the time to make you feel cared for, playing a very supportive role during cancer treatment and recovery.

Their therapies include reflexology, Reiki, lymph drainage massage, hypnotherapy and meditation. They are also looking at introducing acupuncture which can reduce nausea and hot flushes in people undergoing chemotherapy.

Rotherham Cancer Care also offers a counselling service that currently has no waiting list. Again, people benefit from being able to talk openly and explore their feelings and emotions with someone who is trained to listen.

They also work with the Rotherham Cancer Advocacy Service, delivered by Citizens Advice, who can help with any concerns about finances, employment rights or benefit entitlement.

Rotherham Cancer Care Centre in Clifton

All of the support provided by Rotherham Cancer Care is completely free of charge, with the therapy team kindly supported by volunteers and trustees who help with meeting clients, writing bids, and working at fundraising events.

The charity receives no public or private funding so relies on grants and generous public donations. They also receive a donation from the annual Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival and this year, they are one of the four chosen charities of Rotherham Mayor, Cllr Tajamal Khan whose support will be invaluable.

For more information about how Rotherham Cancer Care can help you or someone you know, or for how you can help support them, contact manager Tracy Hyslop on 01709 375729

Rotherham Cancer Care centre is based at 93 Badsley Moor Lane, Clifton, Rotherham S65 2PS. The centre is open Tuesday and Wednesday 9am-3pm with evening and weekend appointments also available by request.